Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Philip, John (fl.1566)

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PHILIP, JOHN (fl. 1566), author, produced in 1566 three black-letter tracts, chiefly in doggerel verse, describing the curious trial at Chelmsford of three witches, Elizabeth Frauncis, Agnes Waterhouse, and the latter's daughter Joan, a girl of eighteen. Mrs. Waterhouse was burnt to death on 29 July 1566. The colophon of each of Philip's tracts, which appeared in London, gives the name of the printer as William Powell, that of the publisher as William Pickeringe, and the date of issue as 13 Aug. 1566. The first tract bears the title ‘The Examination and Confession [before Dr. Cole and Master Fortescue] of certaine Wytches at Chemsforde in the Countie of Essex’ (26 July 1566), with woodcuts of Sathan, a white-spotted cat given to Elizabeth Frauncis by her grandmother, her instructress in witchcraft; of a toad, into which the cat was afterwards metamorphosed, and of a dog with horns, who was the familiar of Joan Waterhouse (Lambeth and Bridgewater House). A new edition was entered to Thomas Lawe, 15 July 1589. Philip's second tract is called ‘The Second Examination and Confession of Mother Agnes Waterhouse and Jone her Daughter, upon her arainement, with the Questions and Answers of Agnes Browne, the Child on whom the Spirit haunteth at this present, deliberately declared before Justice Southcote and Master Gerard, the Queens Atturney, 26 July 1566’ (Lambeth). The third tract is entitled ‘The End and last Confession of Mother Waterhouse at her Death, 29 July 1566’ (Lambeth).

[Philip's Tracts; Collier's Bibliographical Cat.]

S. L.